I have a camcorder, and at the beginning of the school year I tape each child doing various things, doing work, learning the alphabet, colors, numbers, learning to tie shoes, playing, etc. I continue to do this for each child through-out the year. At the end of summer and before the next school year starts, I give the parents the tape of the child entitled “A year in the life of (child’s name)”. Parents love it, and I also learn how much a 3-5 year old can learn in one year.
Create a caterpillar made of many circles, one of which is a smiling face. On the “body” circles write each separate part of your classroom schedule, ex. group time, free play, cleanup… As you complete each part of your day, cover the corresponding circle. Children who are worried that mom isn’t coming back will know visually how many circles are left until mom will be here. We use this for the first month until the children are used to class routine and separation is no longer an issue.
The first couple of weeks of preschool children are often sad to leave their mother often times for the very first time , and the tear usually begin. i have come up with a idea for those certain children who cry for more than a couple of times. I explain to the child that mom will be back , but in the mean time hold this little cup up to your eye and catch those tears, and before long they forget about crying and adjust to a normal routine at school. Another idea I use for children that are sad because mom is not there, ask mom for a picture of herself , and the child puts the picture in his/her pocket and if their sad just take a peek in that pocket and catch a smile. Hope you can use this tip.
Take along an assortment of colors and types of drawing paper with you when you go on your beginning of school home visits. This helps you and the children to become acquainted with one another as you draw and chat together and also gives you some of the children’s work to take with you and display in the classroom. It is a good idea to let the children choose two pieces of paper. This way, they will usually make two drawings and you can ask them if they will let you take one with you when you leave. They usually like to give you one and keep one at home with them. On the first day of school, the children and parents are delighted to see their “work” already displayed. Your classroom also will look more cheerful and inviting with the children’s work on the walls. Also, I like to take a photograph of the children alone and another of them with their family members while on the home visits. You can use the photos in a variety of ways to make your classroom more inviting and comfortable for the children. The children’s photos can be used on message/attendance/helper charts and with your back-to-school bulletin boards. The family photos are nice to display at child’s eye level on a “Family Board”and in “About Me” photo albums or books you make. You will want to get reprints of the photos as you will want to use them in various ways. Be sure and get permission to photograph from the families and explain to them what you plan to use them for. Hope everyone has a HAPPY NEW SCHOOL YEAR.
This will be my first year teaching preschool… I am going to send home a letter to each child welcoming him/her to my class, etc. With the letter, I am going to send one piece of a simple jigsaw puzzle. I will ask each student to bring the piece with him/her on the first day of school. We will then put the puzzle together. Hopefully, this will reinforce the idea that everyone is special and important.